It's not rocket science, saying the Pledge of Allegiance. A fourth-grader could tell you that.
"You stand up and put your hand on your heart, and say it," says Tenly Synhorst, a fourth-grader at Corral Drive Elementary School in Rapid City.
Tenly and her fourth-grade pals join other students across Rapid City in saying the pledge each day. It's a patriotic call that resonates in this generally conservative city in the most conservative region of the state. And there seems to be overall support for the school district's recent procedure revision that expanded the saying of the pledge in school from general practice in lower grades to include the high schools.
District Superintendent Tim Mitchell said the action was aimed at avoiding the same controversy that the Sioux Falls school board faced just weeks ago.
"We just thought to be proactive we wanted to be supportive of the pledge, supportive of our country, supportive of our veterans and initiate as a practice what was happening in Sioux Falls," Mitchell said.
Students don't have to participate, but are asked to stand or sit respectfully, Mitchell said. Most take part, with varying degrees of enthusiasm.
"So far things are going really good," said Stevens High School Principal John Julius."We've had some great participation from the students and the staff."
School administrators say the pledge doesn't complicate their day or require much time.
"It takes about 15 seconds of our day,'" says Southwest Middle School Assistant Principal Brian Moser." And I think it's a great thing for our kids and our school."